Is Crossfit Good for Business?


At this weeks staff meeting I told our staff that Crossfit might be the best thing that ever happened to our business. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Let me take a minute and explain a few reasons why I think Crossfit is good for MBSC.

1- Crossfit gets people training with multi-joint exercises and intervals. Good

2- Crossfit provides an inexpensive barrier to entry. Good

3- Crossfit gets people injured. Good? I’ll explain later

4- Crossfit has a huge promotional relationship with Reebok. Good?

Here’s how I see it. People try Crossfit and like it. Then people get injured doing it and look for a better alternative. They find places like MBSC that at least ,to the uninitiated, look similar to Crossfit ( think multi-joint exercises and intervals). They often don’t know the difference initially except they don’t get injured.

Reebok runs adds for “The Sport of Fitness”. The Reebok ads look like they could be for MBSC. The Reebok ads feature multi-joint exercises with perfect technique. That sounds like MBSC ( except we have a mix of young and old, fit and not fit). We don’t see anyone collapse. We don’t see anyone with lousy technique. We don’t see any vomit or bloody hands?

Sometimes you need to look at the glass at least as half full.

33 Responses to “Is Crossfit Good for Business?”

  1. Walter- glad you like the book. I’m going to post another Crossfit post for you.

  2. i am a 57 triathlete that does 70.3 races after several years of ironman races – just bought and am currently reading your ‘advanced functional training’ book – very interesting, since i also have read phil maffetone – talk about opposite philosophies – currently have started crossfit and already agree 100% with this thread – ridiculous how people hurl themselves around in order to put a number on a white board – i am avoiding the rat race and concentrating on what i have learned from your book – by the way i live in tucson – the crossfit i am training at is actually on the sane side, decent instruction – no screaming

  3. […] The HRV Roundtable – Craig Weller Experiences of a S&C Intern – Anthony Iannarino Is Crossfit Good for Business? – Mike Boyle Ultimate Sandbag Exercises to Raise the Squat! – Josh Henkin Social Media: Friend or Foe to […]

  4. In defence of CrossFit I’d have to say – Sour grapes – but you’re right that CrossFit has popularised S&C. Yes a weekend cert is shit but so are most post grads till they’ve cut their teeth in the real world

    N.B. it’s not supposed to be fucking random…

  5. I didn’t realize how long my reply was! On a similar (demonstrably shorter note), I can’t help to wonder why the fitness industry (specifically personal training) isn’t regulated more. Nurses, doctors, nutritionists have to go through a ton of schooling, interning, etc, yet trainers can take a 2 hr. test and start training people! (do you even need a H.S. degree?) Just goes to show where are priorities are in regards to health. Drs, nurses, etc, patch up the horrible stuff ‘trainers’ do on a day to day basis. Maybe we should get to the root of the problem? Not to say all trainers are like this, but damn, I kinda weirdly hope the CSCS is a tough test, or I’m gonna be training in a sea of know-it-alls whose only experience is the workouts they get from ‘shape’ magazine or what they see on TV, and their varsity letterman jackets! I say a secret prayer everynight that I won’t end up at a box gym (gold’s, 24 hrs, etc). Time to open a facility here in the Seattle area Mike! I need some good teachers!

  6. Wow, I don’t need rot comment.

    For the best in Boston area sports and personal training go to http://www.bodybyboyle.com. For the best in performance enhancement information go to http://www.strengthcoach.com MBSC was recently named one of America’s Top Gyms By Men’s Health Magazine and was voted Boston’s best personal trainers for 2011.

    Please note our new address and phone number. 29 Draper St. , Woburn 01801 Take Montvale Ave toward Woburn. 2nd left after Washington is Nashua. Nashua becomes Draper. Last building on the right. 781-938-1330

  7. From all the stuff I read on CrossFit, I know exactly how the arguments go. Defenders will always point to shitty facilities and coaches as not representing where they train or what they believe in. Shocker. The bottom line is this. It comes down to a cost-benefit scenario (This crystallized more in my mind after reading Cosgroves “new rules for abs book” He mentions the cost-benefit of doing crunches in a workout). Surely people derive a benefit from CrossFit or the facilities wouldn’t exist (benefits though can be fleeting!…) This isn’t the inherent problem in my mind. What is, is the cost associated with these metabolically demanding, anything goes BS they do at these facilities. Where in the scientific literature do they recommend doing power olympic lifting with non-power work or in a consecutive min. rest fashion? I’m studying to take the CSCS right now so clue me in if I’m completely off base here. From what I understand , you simply need suffiicient rest after olympic lifting (longer than what it takes to get to the next station or whatever CrossFit calls it). More rest than any other modality of training (i.e. olympic lifts than jumping to plyo’s?…then to kippling pullups. C’mon now!) You don’t jump to another exercise and keep this up for how ever many minutes these WOD are. Your form breaks down and injury rates skyrocket (I don’t care how macho/ripped/etc you are). You break form in these workouts…however small it may be (It doesn’t help from what I understand that your coaches and other CF’ers are pushing you to finish!)

    Which brings up injury. Sure CrossFitters will point to people that don’t get them….yet. Injuries don’t always show up in the short-term. I remember reading a research article (that I’m pissed I didn’t save) that showed that most people (I want to say something like 80% have back injuries but they either a) tough it out b) don’t know they have it c) just assume it is a part of life).

    What CrossFit doesn’t tell us is what percentage of these people will have problems in the near or distant future because of the demanding style of the workouts (if this is the case we won’t ever know if it is CrossFit most likely because people will assume old age = pain…no correlation to what was done years before of course!). Combine this with the fact that coaches can get level 1 certified in a few days time and it is horseshit that the fitness industry isn’t regulated more (H.S. dropouts should not be a trainer! go to school. Learn first! You’re in the healthcare field way too early!). I know for a fact I couldn’t learn the intracies of olympic lifting in 2 days time on top of actually teaching them to clients…in a metabollically demanding WOD.

    There aren’t any shortcuts to fitness. I echo a lot of what Mike Boyle says because he simply has been there and done that and he seems to be a straight shooter that doesn’t bullshit people (and the injury rate at MBSC apparently is very small…. short-term and long-term is my best guess! And no I’m not kissing his ass, or just agreeing with him because he has been there). I’m just stating that CrossFit in my mind is pretty simliar to what they do to the biggest Loser contestants (just with a different population). Throw out some random shit, get their heart rate up and if they feel good in the near term, lose weight, etc pat yourself on the back! Screw the long term. People are short-term thinkers anyway!

    The reason CrossFit in my mind has such staying power is because of the community aspect of it. People are simply lost when going to the gym (as are many trainers ufortunately). I don’t train yet (so you can harp on me for that saying I don’t know anything), but I do read a ton and I feel like CrossFitters just need direction and so CrossFit is their little fitness cult. Builds camaraderie, which is a good thing don’t get me wrong, but it fails in the first goal that every trainer should consciously be aware of and that is reducing injuries. Like vegetarianism vs. paleo dieting, this really isn’t an argument that will ever be won because in my opinion CrossFitter’s see’s what they want to see and with their growing influence, will extol the virtues of these HIIT sessions and ‘functional’ training, metabolic sessions (it’s important to throw a buzzword like ‘functional’ and ‘metabolic’ in the mix. Makes you seem like you know what you are talking about!)

    I have a lot more to say on this (I have no idea why I wrote this much, I just felt like writing and not stopping for a while…Feel like the Forrest Gump of writing today) but I’ll just bitch and moan about it on my website I will be starting soon to…as well, bitch and moan about the state of health and fitness in general! My clients in the future will benefit (of course few gyms will probably hire me, if I speak my mind and denigrate CrossFit and this style of training).

    ps – I hate how paleo dieting is synonymous with CrossFit. Paleo is based on evolutionary science (a shit ton of it for that matter). CrossFit is based on some fly on the wall, random workouts that while may benefit some will hurt most in the process…in the long run if not short term. Cue everyone to bash me now. and GO!!

  8. Jay- I agree there are some great Crossfit facilities. As for injury rates in sport, they exist. My feeling is this should not exist in training. You bring up running? I have written numerous posts that are also anti-running. The injury rate is too high as you mentioned. Physical therapist Diane Lee said it best “you can’t run to get fit, you need to be fit to run”. As for the similarities between what we do and Crossfit, we were here first. Crossfit did not invent interval training, Olympic lifting or multi-joint exercises. People have been doing this for 40-50 years. Crossfit may have made it a competition but they use tools that have been combined for decades.

    I was structuring exercise programs 30 years ago that used olympic lifts, power lifts and sprint intervals.

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